We are grateful to have a diverse community of students, staff and families from around the world. Each member of our community brings their own background and story that enriches the ASH experience. Our ASH Voices series zooms in on our community as we learn more about who we are in our roles at ASH and life outside of school.
Today, we feature Ms. Atkinson, our after school care coordinator for the Croco Club. Born and raised in The Hague, Ms. Atkinson joined ASH in December 2020 and lives with her English husband and their daughter in Rijswijk. She has been working in childcare for 12 years, as a pedagogical employee, coach and manager. Ms. Atkinson tells us about her work at ASH and the services the Croco Club offers.
What does the #ASHexperience mean to you?
I am grateful for nothing but helpful colleagues, who I look forward to getting to know better in the time coming. As Croco Club coordinator, I aim to extend the ASH experience that our children have, by creating a warm pedagogical environment and giving them a say in what happens in their time with us.
What are your passions? Either in your work at the Croco Club or outside of work?
I really enjoy playing with my own one year old daughter Riga and I love reading. I can lose track of time with a good Agatha Christie or Deon Meyer novel. What makes me happy in working with children is seeing and connecting to their world. In my first weeks, I walked around the Croco Club rooms with a little notebook to write things down I thought were important. One of the children (four years old) asked what the book was for and I told him and showed what I had written so far. When I asked him if he could write he was very proud in telling me he could write his name. So we decided it was a good idea for him to write his name in my notebook. He told other children about it, and now I am collecting children's names in my notebook.
Could you tell us more about the Croco Club and the work you and your team do?
The Croco Club is an ASH service for parents that are not able to pick up their child when school has finished. This means we pick up children from the main campus and children are brought to our ABF building via bus from the ECC. The Croco Club assistants and I work actively towards creating a warm pedagogical atmosphere in which children can feel safe and develop their social (and other) skills in a free play setting. We support children in finding a playmate, resolving conflicts and challenge them in further developing their talents. We also value a good relationship with the parents of the children and are currently working hard to, among other things, integrate a yearly mentor-parent meeting into our service.
If you weren't working at Croco Club what would you be doing?
I would probably combine writing a book on parenting with touring the world as the front woman in a Freddie Mercury tribute act.